How Do Robotic Lawn Mowers Work

How Do Robotic Lawn Mowers Work?

How Do Robotic Lawn Mowers Work

As someone who wants to learn more about robotic lawn mowers, you may already know that they are designed to make your life easier by taking care of your lawn without any input from you. But have you ever wondered how they work? In this article, I will explore the three main factors that make up a robotic mower – the Navigation System, the Charging System, and the Cutting System. By understanding these aspects, you will be better equipped to choose the perfect robotic mower for your lawn.

The Navigation System is responsible for guiding the mower around your lawn, ensuring that it covers all areas and avoids obstacles. The Charging System enables the mower to recharge itself automatically, so you don’t have to worry about manually recharging it. Finally, the Cutting System is what allows the mower to cut your grass effectively and efficiently. By understanding these three factors, you will be able to make more informed comparisons between different models of robotic mowers and find the best one for your needs.

Key Takeaways

  • Robotic mowers are designed to take care of your lawn without any input from you.
  • The three main factors that make up a robotic mower are the Navigation System, the Charging System, and the Cutting System.
  • Understanding these aspects will help you choose the perfect robotic mower for your lawn.

How Robot Lawn Mowers Navigate

How Do Robotic Lawn Mowers Work - Navigation System

Just like cars, some robotic mowers use GPS to navigate. In order for the mowers to drive around your lawn unattended, they are going to need some sort of guidance. But don’t worry this isn’t from you, it’s actually from a wire.

It may sound unusual but yes a wire. Let me explain…

Perimeter Wire

In order for a robotic lawn mower to navigate around your lawn, it needs some sort of guidance. This is where a perimeter wire comes in. The wire is placed around the lawn to create an invisible fence that sends an electrical signal to the mower. This signal helps the mower map out the entire lawn and calculate a route to follow.

If there are any obstacles, such as flower beds or trees, that you want to prevent the mower from accessing, you can section off these areas using the wire. The mower also has sensors to detect any obstacles it encounters while following its route. This ensures that the mower stops, turns off the blade, recalculates, and begins mowing in a different direction.

GPS Guided Robotic Mower

Some robotic mowers use GPS technology to navigate around the lawn. This allows the mower to create a map of the lawn and calculate the most efficient route to follow. It also ensures that the mower is always aware of its location, which helps it avoid obstacles and stay on track.

Camera Self Guided Lawn Mower

Another type of navigation system uses cameras to guide the mower. These cameras allow the mower to “see” the lawn and create a map of the area. The mower can then use this map to navigate around the lawn and avoid obstacles.

Add-On Features

How Do Robotic Lawn Mowers Work - Add-On Features

Many robotic mowers come with a basic collision detection system, which allows the mower to stop and reverse when it encounters an obstacle. However, there are also several add-on features that can enhance the mower’s functionality.

For example, some mowers come with proximity sensors that allow the mower to detect obstacles before it bumps into them. Other add-ons include “Off Limits” sensors that allow you to section off areas of the lawn that you don’t want the mower to access. Some mowers also come with enhanced GPS functionality that allows for greater control over the mower’s movements.

Why is the ability to expand your robotic mower a good thing? Well, because you can start with a basic model and see if this works well and suits your needs If however you want to upgrade or have moved and your garden circumstances have changed, you have the option of adding these extra features to protect your investment.

Multi Zone Capability

If your lawn has multiple areas that need to be mowed, you’ll want to look for a mower with a multi zone feature. This feature allows the mower to navigate between different lawn areas via a passage or driveway. Alternatively, some mowers allow you to lift the mower to the secondary area and then return to the primary area for charging.

If there’s an area of your lawn that requires special attention, you can use the app or iPad to let the mower know that this is the area you want it to focus on.

Overall, a good navigation system is crucial for any robotic lawn mower. Whether it’s a perimeter wire, GPS technology, or cameras, the navigation system helps the mower create a map of the lawn and navigate around obstacles. With the right add-on features and multi zone capability, you can ensure that your robotic mower is efficient and effective in keeping your lawn looking its best.

Robot Mower Charging and Run-Time

How Do Robotic Lawn Mowers Work - Charging System

The charging system of a robotic mower is an essential component that ensures the mower is always charged and ready to mow. Unlike traditional mowers that require manual charging, robotic mowers come with their own docking station that they automatically return to when they need charging.

The docking station is attached to the perimeter wire, which the mower can use as a guide, ensuring that it does not get lost during its mowing routine. Whenever the mower begins to run low on power while mowing, it will automatically make its way back to the station to recharge. And when its battery is full again, it will lead itself back out to the exact point where it last left off, completely removing you from the process.

Charging and run-time will vary from one robotic mower to another, and it is important to ensure that they are adequate to cover the size of your lawn. Most robotic mowers now come with lithium-ion batteries, which are the latest technology and take around 1 hour to charge, providing the same amount of run-time on most domestic models. Higher-end models will provide longer run-times.

You don’t really need to worry about the charging time as your robotic mower will work when and how you want it to work. If you prefer it to work at night only, then you can schedule it to do so. However, if you have steep inclines in your lawn, this will drastically reduce the run-time of the robotic mower. In these situations, you may want to consider a robotic mower that has a higher capacity battery and a better ability to deal with steeper slopes.

Another point worth noting is that some robotic mowers that are identical have the same battery capacity but are designed for larger lawns. This is purely down to how long they have been programmed to run each day and how much perimeter wire is supplied with the mower.

In conclusion, the charging system of a robotic mower is an important feature that ensures the mower is always charged and ready to mow. With the latest technology of lithium-ion batteries, charging times are quicker, and run-times are longer, making robotic mowers a convenient and effortless alternative to traditional push lawn mowers.

Cutting System

ir?t=easylawmow 21&l=li3&o=2&a=B01BSUOEQQThe cutting system, or the manor to which these machines cut, is quite unique. Most electric or petrol mowers are designed to take off long pieces of grass so you don’t have to mow as regularly. During summer it is recommended that your lawn is cut once per week with a traditional push mower. On the other hand robotic mowers have a much better and practical way of cutting your lawn.

They are programmed to cut tiny little grass clippings instead. This may take longer for you to notice any real difference, but the reasons behind it are actually very simple and very effective.

Firstly, because the grass clippings are so small they fall down to the bottom of your soil. This is where the magic happens. There they’ll decompose to act as a natural fertilizer (or mulch), passing on nutrients, making the soil moister and healthier. This produces a much healthier, stronger and thicker grass growth, which in turn makes your lawn look much greener and fuller.


How Do Robotic Lawn Mowers Work - Blades

Robotic lawn mowers come with two types of blades, a larger single cutting blade or a number of small rotating razor blades. The latter is more common and is found in the latest domestic robotic mower models. The small rotating blades are lightweight and give a sharp precise cut, making them more efficient and preserving the battery, thereby increasing the mower’s run-time. However, they tend to become blunt within a few months and will need to be replaced. The good news is that these blades are relatively cheap and replacing them is a quick and easy task. Some robotic mowers have what is known as “Floating Decks,” which is a superior feature as it tends not to suffer from issues of getting stuck when working on uneven surfaces. A Floating Deck means that the blade mechanism has the ability to move up and down and therefore “ride” any bumps more easily without getting beached.


Robotic mowers are also able to deal with steeper slopes in your garden. Some robotic mowers are 3 wheeled, while others are 4 wheeled (more powerful models). Depending on the slope in your garden, and struggle that you would normally experience with a standard push mower, this is something you will no longer need to worry about.

The cutting system of robotic mowers is designed to cut tiny little grass clippings instead of taking off long pieces of grass. This produces a much healthier, stronger, and thicker grass growth, which in turn makes your lawn look much greener and fuller. The grass clippings are so small that they fall down to the bottom of your soil, where they decompose to act as a natural fertilizer (or mulch), passing on nutrients, making the soil moister and healthier. This results in a much healthier and practical way of cutting your lawn, which a traditional push mower cannot achieve.

In conclusion, the cutting system of robotic mowers is unique and practical, providing a healthier and efficient way of cutting your lawn. The blades are lightweight and precise, with the “Floating Decks” feature being superior on uneven surfaces. Additionally, robotic mowers can handle steeper slopes in your garden, making them a great investment for any homeowner.


In conclusion, robotic mowers are an excellent investment for those who want a perfectly manicured lawn without the hassle of traditional mowing. They operate by using sensors to detect the boundaries of the lawn and obstacles, ensuring that they do not damage any property or harm any pets or wildlife.

One of the standout features of robotic mowers is their ability to work autonomously, freeing up time for the homeowner to focus on other tasks. They are also environmentally friendly, as they do not emit harmful fumes or require gasoline to operate.

However, there are some potential drawbacks to consider before purchasing a robotic mower. One of the main concerns is safety, as they can pose a danger to children or pets who may not understand how to interact with them. Additionally, anti-theft features may be necessary to prevent theft or damage to the mower.

Despite these potential disadvantages, the benefits of owning a robotic mower far outweigh the drawbacks. They offer numerous advantages, including precision cutting, reduced noise pollution, and the ability to work in a variety of weather conditions.

In order to find the perfect robotic mower for your lawn, it is important to consider factors such as size, slope, complexity, price, and practicalities. I recommend reading my article on “How to Pick the Perfect Robot Lawn Mower” to help guide you through this process.

If you are still unsure about whether a robotic mower is right for you, I suggest reading my article on “Reasons Why You Should Buy A Robotic Lawn Mower” to learn more about the benefits of owning one.

As a seasoned expert in the field of garden power tools, I am confident in my ability to provide valuable insights and recommendations when it comes to selecting the right lawn mower for your lawn. Whether you are looking for a battery cordless, electric, petrol, or robotic mower, I am here to help guide you towards the best option for your garden.


Lawnmower Product Expert, Reviewer and Author at | 01284 615144 | | Website | + posts

As a seasoned expert in the field of garden power tools, I have dedicated over a decade to working with and reviewing a wide variety of lawn mowers. My extensive experience has allowed me to gain a deep understanding of the benefits and limitations of different types of mowers and garden tools.

Over the years, I have honed my skills in writing informative articles and creating helpful videos for various blogs and publications. This has given me the ability to not only recognise what makes a good lawn mower, but also to help you choose the perfect garden tool for your specific needs and requirements.

With my wealth of knowledge and expertise, I am confident that I can provide you with valuable insights and recommendations when it comes to selecting the right lawn mower for your lawn. So, whether you're looking for a battery cordless, electric, petrol, or robotic mower, you can trust in my expertise to guide you towards the best option for your garden.

8 thoughts on “How Do Robotic Lawn Mowers Work?”

  1. The thing that confuses me most about robotic mowers is the charging. I don’t understand how the robotic mower will plug itself in. My wife and I have been talking about getting a robotic mower with GPS since we have a large property, I just want to see how it works.

    1. Hi Michael

      Thanks for contacting me. Take a look at this video as it covers the basics of how these robotic mowers work.

      It is for a Flymo Robotic Lawnmower 1200R but all work pretty much the same way and it shows the charging station in action.

      If you do decide to go ahead then you will need to find a robotic mower that best suits your lawn/garden and your budget.


    1. All robomowers have a boundary wire laid around the borders of their lawns, this sends out a signal to the mower which tells it of its mowing/working area. With this in place the mower will map out every inch of grass which needs cut and therefore will be able to calculate where it has and hasn’t been during a mow.

      Yeah for most models their movement pattern is quite random but they still ensure that all bits of grass are cut within the main working area.

      Thanks for the question John, I hope this helps and if you have any more questions then please just ask ;-)

      1. Hi Mark,

        I found your blog by accident as I am interested in purchasing a robot lawn mower and have found your articles interesting. I have a question that I was wondering if you could help me with.

        My property does not have an external wall socket in the garden for me to plug the charge point of the robot lawn mower in (if I do purchase one).

        I was wondering if I could get by instead by using an extension lead out to the garden for whenever I wanted the mower to charge and mow rather than getting an electrician in to install a permanent external wall socket?

        Your thoughts on this would be appreciated.

        1. Hi Adrian,
          You will either need a water proof socket on the outside or the wire will need to be run inside to a suitable socket. You will not be able to use an extension lead unfortunately for safety reasons.

  2. Wow this is really fasinating. I’ve never heard of robomowers before. So these are different then the ones you drive around, these you just set amd they go on their own. It’s so cool that some have a gps and they have a wire so they know where your lawn is
    How much do these things generally cost?

    1. Yeah they really are cool machines. For most models, they’ll be priced anywhere from £1,000 to $3000 but you can get cheaper ones for under £1000. Just make sure to have a good look around before you buy, this will make sure you get the cheapest price. You’ll probably have the best luck trying out Amazon or eBay so I recommend going there first.

      Thanks for the comment and if you need any help then please just ask :-)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Protection Status

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program,
an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to,,
and any other website that may be affiliated with Amazon Service LLC Associates Program.

Scroll to Top